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Does weather affect turnout on polling day?

Short answer: no. Long answer: probably not

By Stephanie Boland  

Rain does not have a measurable effect on election turnout. Photo: PA

“Let’s just hope the weather is good!” is the catchphrase of the worried Labour activist. “A frightening prospect for Labour” is how Anthony Howard once referred to evening rain, which was thought to put off working-class voters who would head to the polls after tea.

Conventional wisdom has it—and has long had it—that low turnout is particularly bad for Labour, and that rain is particularly bad for turnout. Thus, on every polling day, there’s always a number of…

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